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Government/Politics

Parents "Shocked" To Discover Insurance Considered Child's Hearing Aids Cosmetic

Shawn Rohlin holds his daughter, Madeline, who found out she had hearing loss and needed hearing aids. Madeline’s mom, Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley, says discovering hearing aids for children was considered a cosmetic device was shocking.
Andy Chow
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Shawn Rohlin holds his daughter, Madeline, who found out she had hearing loss and needed hearing aids. Madeline’s mom, Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley, says discovering hearing aids for children was considered a cosmetic device was shocking.";

Democratic lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would require health insurance companies provide coverage for children’s hearing aids. The legislators say the tool that can help their children learn and develop is treated as a cosmetic device by many plans.

Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley couldn’t believe it when she discovered her daughter Madeline’s hearing aids weren’t covered by their insurance company because they were considered cosmetic.

“To hear that something so medically necessary and so necessary for educational development and everything, was treated as Botox was shocking and appalling,” says Greenhalgh-Stanley.

A bill from Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) would require insurers to cover up to $2,500 for each hearing aid.

Carrie Spangler is an audiologist and educational advocate. She says children with hearing loss can experience a lot of challenges at school.

“So if we don’t provide the foundational tool of hearing aids which would amplify that sound, in addition to the supports that they need for education, they’re going to miss 70-80% of their academic instruction. Which is huge.”

Russo and Weinstein say this will help the state avoid other medical and educational expenses. The bill has received some bipartisan support.

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